A Perfectly Packed Daycare Bag

Because my husband and I both work full-time, our baby spends the day at a daycare. We've been really blessed to find a wonderful lady who runs a fantastic daycare with just a few other children in her house. Emma loves playing with her friends there, and I love the fact that she's spending the day in a home with a family. Since she's our only child so far, it also makes me happy that she gets to interact with other children of all different ages.  

That said, when you add "getting ready for daycare" to the list of things you need to do in the morning before you can leave the house, you might suddenly find yourself scrambling around like a chicken with its head cut off. Things can get pretty crazy pretty fast if you don't have a plan. That's why I am so excited to present you with this post describing how to pack a perfectly organized daycare bag:
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom

This is the fifth post in my Perfectly Packed series. Be sure to check out my other posts in the series as well! Please note that posts in this series include affiliate links. (Check out my disclosure policy here.)  
Perfectly Packed: A Series on packing perfectly organized bags at LaurasPlans.com
The title of this post is actually a bit of a lie, because it takes me two bags to pack everything that Emma needs at daycare. The first bag goes back and forth, to and from daycare with Emma every day. The other bag stays at daycare, and I only replace items in that bag when I need to. It's the "just in case" bag.
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom: have one stay at daycare bag and one back and forth bag
And I really do apologize for the polka-dot overload. I realize that I have an addiction, but I'm not quite ready for rehab yet. ;)

So let's start with the stay-at-daycare bag. I dumped out my bag and photographed the contents just for you: :)
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom
Let's take a look at what all I keep in there:
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom




1. Disposable diapers (I use cloth diapers so this is a "just in case" pack.)
2. Disposable wipes
3. A stuffed animal for nap time
4. A jacket
5. Burp cloths
6. An extra bottle
7. An extra pacifier
8. Sunscreen
9. Teething tablets (I swear by these.) 
10. Socks
11. A sunhat
12. Bibs
13. A cold-weather extra outfit
14. An extra onesie
15. A warm-weather extra outfit

In order to keep everything nice and organized, I printed and taped labels to 4 gallon-sized ziplock bags:
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom: Use ziplock bags for organizing
My labels for the four bags were: 
  • Bibs and Burpcloths
  • Just in Case (Disposable diapers, extra pacifier, extra bottle and nipple) 
  • Use if Needed (Teething tablets, sunscreen, sunhat)
  • Extra Clothes (Extra outfits, onesie, jacket)

And everything fit in nice and neatly.
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom: Use ziplock bags for organizing
I found a reusable bag that was big enough to hold everything, packed it all up. . . 
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom: Use ziplock bags for organizing
And dropped it off at daycare on Emma's first day. 
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom: A stay at daycare just in case bag
Now for the bag that travels back and forth to and from daycare each day. Here's what I include in that one:
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom
And here's a closer look at exactly what all those items are:
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom
1. A backpack to carry it all (because when you're already carrying a baby in a car seat, you need a bag that doesn't require any extra hands!) 
2. An insulated bag with ice packs (to carry bottles of milk. My favorite is this one.) 
3. A wet bag (for returning dirty cloth diapers. I love this one .)
4. A sippy cup
5. A lunch box (I'll explain more about this in a minute)
6. Bottle nipple and lid
7. Bottles of milk
8. Cloth diapers (My ultimate faves to send to daycare, because they are just so easy: BumGenius 4.0 Pocket diapers and BumGenius Freetime All in Ones

Here's how I pack it all up: First I put the diapers and wet bag on the bottom of the backpack.
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom using cloth diapers
Then I put the bottles in the cooler and add that to the backpack. 
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom using bottle cooler
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom
Then I add Emma's lunchbox on top, close it up, and add her sippy cup to one of the side pockets.  
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom
OK, one last note about that lunchbox. I found this bento-style lunch box at Walmart for around $5, and I LOVE it!!! It has two removable compartments, which is perfect, because I can load them up with leftovers or fruit and keep them in the fridge until it's time to pack them. Each can be microwaved individually if needed, and it comes with an ice pack. I actually have two so I only have to pack lunches every other night. 
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom: Packing lunch for a toddler in a bento box
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom: Packing lunch for a toddler in a bento box
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom: Packing lunch for a toddler in a bento box
So that's it! All you need now is a handy-dandy printable checklist to keep all of that straight as you're running out the door in the morning. Because I know you moms are super busy! 
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom: Free printable checklist
I created a cute, printable checklist just for you. Click here to download it, or click on the list below.
And if you find this checklist helpful, why not share it with a working mom that you know? It would make my day. :)
Tweet: If you're a working mama, check out this free daycare bag checklist: http://ctt.ec/rGzWA+
How to pack the perfect daycare bag for the baby or infant of a working mom: Free printable checklist
So what do you think? To all my other working mamas out there- Did I forget anything? What tricks do you have to make packing for a day at daycare easier on you and your kiddos? Let me know in the comments. :)


16 comments:

  1. Cute! Those bags are pretty too. I love reminders on what to pack!

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    1. Thanks! I got the reusable bag somewhere for a dollar or two, and I wish I had bought 10 while I had the chance.

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  2. Laura, I love this series that you're doing, but this one in particular. I never thought of a stay at daycare bag or the ease of a backpack when picking up and dropping off! Thank you so much for sharing these. I'm saving this for when my daughter is ready to go to daycare, and will definitely be sharing it with others as well :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Maria! It's a system that's worked well for us so far. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  3. I love this! So organized and even a checklist. I so wanna run to Walmart and try to find that lunch box. Such a cute backpack 😍 I'm obsessed with polka dots too. Where can I get one?

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    1. Thanks, Wendy! I bought the lunch box and the backpack back in August, so I hope you can still find them. I just checked Walmart's website and didn't see it, but it's worth checking out their food container section.

      The backpack is from Kohl's. The brand was Candie's. I don't see any available on the website, but here are a few similar styles: http://www.kohls.com/catalog/candies-luggage-backpacks.jsp?CN=4294875004+4294719717&S=1&PPP=60

      I hope that helps. :)

      Laura

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  4. This is a fantastic post! As a first time mom, it was so helpful in getting my kiddo (and me) ready for her first day at daycare. It was a great guide. I love how organized the items are. Thanks for the share.

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    1. Aw, thanks so much, Missy! I'm so glad you found it helpful. :)

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  5. Here's a question...how many cloth diapers do you send to daycare? I hate overpacking but I'm afraid of running out of stuff too!

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    1. I send 5 a day (one for every 2 hours, plus an extra.) I've never run out, but I keep a few disposables at daycare just in case I ever would.

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  6. OMG thank you for sharing ! Im a first time mom and im going back to work next week so im actually a little bit worried and sad to leave my one year old baby at daycare. I will print the checklist! Lets see how goes on the next week ! Thanks so much!

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    1. Good luck! I'm actually going back to work next week, too after having my 2nd baby. I printed out a copy of this checklist for myself. :)

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  7. Little shoes are always handy if your child is walking. Sometimes the grass outside is wet. Putting shoes on them is always handy. (Coming from a qualified educator in the Nursery room) :)

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    Replies
    1. Great idea! Plus, little baby shoes are just so cute. :)

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